Aggressive Credit Card Debt Attorney Collecting Throughout New Jersey
Pursuing and enforcing monetary judgments
Snellings Law LLC focuses on the collection of debt in an aggressive yet cost-effective manner. We believe in acting swiftly to collect credit card debt. Our New Jersey credit card debt attorney pursues attempts to resolve, informally, the dispute with the debtor, but we are fully prepared to commence legal action immediately to secure a judgment in your favor.
Statute of limitations for credit card debt
A statute of limitations is the time frame in which a collector can bring a lawsuit against a borrower to collect a debt. If the statute of limitations expires, you can be barred from collecting the debt owed to you. The statute of limitations clock begins at the time of last payment and resets each time the borrower makes a payment. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations to collect credit card debt is six years.
What is the process for collecting credit card debt?
Every debt collection matter is different, but the process typically begins with a written demand for payment. It is important that the demand provides the borrower with certain pieces of information, including:
If the borrower responds to the demand for payment, settlement discussions begin. If the borrower does not respond to the demand or settlement and discussions fail, we initiate a lawsuit to collect the credit card debt.
Pursuing a judgment against a debtor
In order to take more aggressive actions, a creditor must sue the debtor and receive a judgment in their favor. This allows the creditor to pursue judgment liens, wage garnishments, and bank levies. Each of these tactics are effective in certain circumstances. But first, the creditor must receive a judgment in their favor in court. Afterward, they can petition the court to take more extreme measures.
Judgment liens in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a creditor may pursue a judgment lien against a debtor, but the only property that can have a lien put against is real estate. Claims brought in New Jersey Division of Law have automatic judgment liens attached to present and future property owned by the judgment debtor. Judgments received elsewhere must be docketed in the New Jersey Division of Law before the judgment creditor can pursue a lien.
While the creditor may not be able to force the sale of the property, they can ensure that any proceeds from the sale are sent directly to them. There are certain restrictions on what a judgment creditor can do to an individual’s primary residence.
Wage garnishment in New Jersey
Wage garnishment is another option available to a judgment creditor in New Jersey. There are restrictions, however, on how much of a judgment debtor’s wages can be garnished. This will depend on certain circumstances and depends on whether or not the judgment debtor is within a specific percentage of the federal poverty level for a household of their size. Since these numbers change each year, it makes little sense to get into them here.
New Jersey laws are, however, stricter than federal guidelines on the matter.
Bank levies and New Jersey law
A bank levy allows you to freeze the judgment debtor’s bank account for the sum owed. You can then petition the court to force the turnover of those funds if they’re there. The debtor has ten days to challenge the levy or claim that they are exempt. Additionally, there are some funds that can be protected from a bank levy.
Bankruptcy and creditors’ rights in New Jersey
Creditors who get a bankruptcy notice and quit on the process of collection are being bullied out of money that they are entitled to. Bankruptcy is meant to protect consumers from impossible debt situations, but it doesn’t mean creditors can’t recover anything. In addition, there may be ways in which to overturn the “automatic stay” if the debt is simply trying to delay the process of collection and is not making a good-faith attempt to declare bankruptcy.
Discharging unsecured debt in Chapter 7 bankruptcy
Most forms of unsecured debt are dischargeable in Chapter 7, but this presumes that the debtor acted in good faith when securing the line of credit. If the debtor misrepresented their financials, was otherwise dishonest, or committed fraud, the debt may be able to survive bankruptcy.
If there’s sufficient reason to, your attorney can file an adversary proceeding which will contest the dischargeability of the debt. Even those who have previously had a judgment against the debtor for fraud won’t be able to protect the debt unless you file a suit to protect it.
For most creditors, this will require a cost/benefit analysis. Is the debt worth the effort of the adversary hearing? The answer will be sometimes yes and sometimes no.
Relief from the automatic stay
Creditors whose loans are secured by property have the best chance of getting relief from an automatic stay. The stay will stop or, at the very least, postpone most creditor actions. This includes the filing of a lawsuit, wage garnishments, and other means available to the creditor to enforce a judgment.
For credit card collections, it is much more difficult to get relief from a bankruptcy stay and may, in most cases, be impossible.
How a credit card collections attorney can help
The courts have a vested interest in protecting bankruptcy from abuse. It should be used as a last resort when all other methods of repayment have been exhausted. In some cases, bankruptcies are not pursued in good faith. Having an attorney manage your claim can help ensure that the debtor is being honest about their holdings, assets, and investments, and are not trying to move assets around in order to avoid exposing them to creditors in bankruptcy.
We will also monitor the progress of the bankruptcy and, if the debt is discharged, resume attempts to collect on a judgment.
In any case, it helps to be proactive. Aggressively pursuing the debt is the best way to ensure it’s paid. Bankruptcy cannot remove lines the same way it can levies and garnishments. The debt can be discharged, but the lien will remain. In New Jersey, these liens are created automatically when the creditor wins a judgment against the debtor. But they can only be attached to real estate. On the other hand, they will survive the bankruptcy which can create problems for the debtor. That’s why it’s important to move quickly.
What if the debtor moves out of the country?
Most creditors mistakenly believe that it is impossible to pursue a debtor in another country. With very few exceptions, all countries recognize a U.S. debt and honor a creditor’s pursuit of collection of that debt in their country. We can work with investigators to locate your debtor in a foreign country and retain foreign collection attorneys to assist us with recovering the debt owed to you. Don’t write off significant amounts of debt simply because the debtor no longer resides in the United States. Our New Jersey collections attorney can help.
Schedule an appointment with a New Jersey Credit Card Debt Attorney to discuss your case
Snellings Law LLC is fully equipped to pursue the collection of credit card debt. Contact us online or by calling 973.265.6100. Our office has onsite parking available, and public transportation is accessible. We provide evening and weekend appointments by request.